intransitive verbca·roused, ca·rous·ing, ca·rous·es
To drink large amounts of alcohol, especially in boisterous merrymaking.
Origin of carouse
Earlier a cup drunk up completely in one draft as a toast from
French carous as in
French (boire) carous (to drink a cup) up completely in one draft from
German gar aus(trinken) (to drink) up completely
( used in such exhortations as trinks gar aus drink it all up
) gar completely
Middle High German) ( from
Old High German garo
) (archaic English yare ready
) aus out, up
; see auslander
Related Forms:Word History:
From an etymological point of view, carousing is chugalugging. Carouse
ultimately comes from German gar aus,
words forming part of the exhortation trinks gar aus,
“drink it all up!” with which German revelers urged their drinking companions to drain their cups. The phrase trinks gar aus
is repeated, for example, at the end of one of the most popular German drinking songs of the 1500s, So trinken wir alle
(“So drink we all”). Gar aus,
“completely up,” had already spread to French by the middle of the 1500s as carous,
also spelled carrousse.
This word was used in such phrases as boire carous,
“to drink by draining a cup dry in one draft, chug.” (The change of the initial German g
in French carous
may reflect a Swiss dialectal pronunciation of g,
which may have sounded like c
to French ears.) French carrousse
soon made its way into English as carouse.
In the 1500s, English carouse
was often used as an adverb in such phrases as to quaff carouse,
“to drink dry in one draft,” but it could also function as a noun meaning “a cup drunk dry in toasting someone's health.” Such drinks were typically tossed back in company, and when done so repeatedly, this soon led to what we now call carousing.
(third-person singular simple present carouses, present participle carousing, simple past and past participle caroused)
- (intransitive) To engage in a noisy or drunken social gathering.
- We are all going to carouse at Brian's tonight.
- (intransitive) To drink to excess.
- If I survive this headache, I promise no more carousing at Brian's.
- A large draught of liquor.
- A drinking match; a carousal.
From Middle French carousser (“to quaff, drink, swill”), from German gar aus (“quite out”), from gar austrinken (“to drink up entirely, guzzle”). More at drink.